Motorway Maintenance Contracts (Hansard, 3 December 1990)
HC Deb 03 December 1990 vol 182 cc31-2W
Mr. Corbett

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how his Department ensures cost-effectiveness in motorway surface maintenance contracts where he does not open up contracts to competitive bidding by public and private sector organisations.

Mr. Chope

[holding answer 29 November 1990]: We keep under review the general orders of cost of agent authorities and consultants in managing maintenance. In those areas where we use consultants we are satisfied that the arrangement gives value for money. Competition between consultants for commissions is the main discipline for ensuring this.

Mr. Corbett

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will list by each motorway section in England and Wales the names of companies and organisations holding contracts for surface maintenance, giving details of when they were made, when they are due to expire, the value of each contract and indicating those whose renewal will be decided by competitive tender.

Mr. Chope

[holding answer 29 November 1990]: The following are details of current commissions for managing motorway maintenance. All will expire on 31 March next year, and competitions are in progress for new commissions. Elsewhere maintenance of motorways is currently managed by local highway authorities acting as our agents.

Details of commissions
Commission and consultant Start date Approximate value £ million/year
Greater Manchester
Parkman 1 April 1986 25
South Yorkshire
Sir Owen Williams and Partners 1 April 1986 10
West Yorkshire
Frank Graham and Partners 1 April 1986 29
Midland Links
Atkins/Maunsell joint venture 1 April 1986 13

Mr. Terry Davis

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what grounds he refused to allow Birmingham city council to bid for the contract as agent for his Department in the maintenance of the midlands link motorway.

Mr. Corbett

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will make it his policy to allow Birmingham city council and any interested and qualified private sector consultants competitively to bid for the contract for surface maintenance of the midlands link motorway from junction 5 to near junction 9 on the M6 and to near junction 2 on the M5 when the present contract comes up for renewal.

Mr. Chope

[holding answer 29 November 1990]: There is no legal basis on which a local authority can compete with consultants for motorway maintenance commissions. Consultants have already been managing these sections of motorway. In view of the success of this arrangement we are currently holding a further competition to appoint consultants when the present commission expires next year. This approach accords with Government policy of contracting work out to the private sector wherever this is consistent with sound management and obtaining value for money.

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